A few months ago, Pure Joy asked me to construct some shelving for her in our kitchen area. We scoured Pinterest for different ideas. We kind of knew what we wanted, and after days of looking through pin after pin we finally decided on an idea that had both the style we desired and a price tag we could afford.
I tend to over think these things. I agonize over the details. She thinks, “Just buy some pipes and wood, then throw it on the wall!” Meanwhile I say, “Babe, we need to think this through. We need a list of items. We need a drawing. We need to triple check if this is really what we want.” Yeah, we’re a match made in heaven! LOL.
So, I draw out a simple diagram. I work out just how many pipes, flanges, anchors, screws, brackets, cans of paint, and how much wood we will need. Finally, I’m off to the local home improvement store! Eventually the project is finished and a total success.
Fast forward a few months. Pure Joy decides she wants, nay, she needs more shelving. In fact, she wants it done before Thanksgiving… it was only 5 days before said holiday. Okay, okay, okay I can do this! And I did. It is done. AND! I even decided to document the experience for your reading, and possibly constructing pleasure.
We decided to go with a total of 5 shelves, but I’ve included a part list PER shelf.
Here’s what you’ll need for 1 shelf:
2 - 1/2” black steel plumbing pipe 8” length (threaded)
2 - 1/2” black steel flange
2 - 1/2” black steel cap (pipe, flange, cap all in plumbing dept.)
2 - 1/2” metal two hole straps (electrical dept.)
2 - 1/4” wood screws
1 - wood shelf 7” wide x 1/2” thick x desired length
8 - drywall and stud anchors with screws (I love these things! They’re SUPER easy to install and these metal ones will even drill into a stud!)
Here are the tools you’ll need to complete the job:
Cordless drill (or corded if that’s how you rock)
Bubble level - 4 foot
Table saw/circular saw (OR have home improvement store cut shelves for you)
We also decided we wanted a copper look for our pipes so we spray painted the pipes, caps, and flanges once assembled.
How to build it:
1. First step is to clean all the parts. Black steel pipes are really dirty and you’re going to want to clean them. You can use bleach wipes, isopropyl alcohol, simple green, etc.
2. Assemble the pieces: screw the flange onto one side of the pipe and the cap on the other.
3. Hold the pipe assembly to the wall where you want to attach it.
4. Use a pencil/marker and put a dot in the middle of each of the 4 flange holes
5. Set the pipe aside.
6. Screw a drywall anchor into each dot.
7. Now screw the pipe assembly onto the wall using the provided screws
8. The first one is the easy part…
9. Now, you may need a helper for this part. (I didn’t but it can get a little hairy)
10. You need to hold the second pipe up to the wall approximately where you want it… place your board across the top of both pipes… and place your level on the board.
11. Now, move the pipe until the board is perfectly level.
12. Careful not to move the pipe, remove the level and board, then mark your holes
13. Now, drill anchors and attach pipe as before.
14. Place the board on top of the two pipes… BOOM!
15. At this point you could be done, but we decided to attach metal straps under the shelves for safety to keep it from sliding off.
Multiple Shelf Considerations:
If you’re building more than one of these babies (and why wouldn’t you?! lol) you’ll want to ensure your pipes are vertically in line with one another. You’ll also want to ensure even spacing between shelves (unless you desire varying heights).
To keep the pipes in line with each other vertically you’ll want to use your level turned vertically. Simply place it against the side of the installed pipe and the pipe you’re currently positioning. Move it left or right until it’s level = it’s also in line with the installed pipe.
To ensure even shelf spacing I suggest making a story stick. Basically, once you’ve decided how much space you want between your shelves you can cut a length of wood at that length. When you are putting your pipe on the wall you can use this story stick to ensure all your shelves remain the same height.
And that’s it folks! If you enjoyed this, then please let us know and we will post more projects like this in the future. If you have any questions about this project let us know and I’ll try my best to answer them for you. Don’t forget to follow PureJoy on your favorite social media, and tag us in your Pure Joy Industrial Shelf project!